Prostate Cancer

It’s one of the most common cancers in men. When it’s discovered early, prostate cancer can be treated successfully – if it needs treatment at all.

It’s common and easy to treat.

Good News

Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. With regular screening, it’s usually found before it spreads to other parts of the body. That’s good news, because cancer that hasn’t spread or “metastasized” is easier to treat and easier to cure.

Not every man with prostate cancer needs to be treated right away. In many cases, early-stage prostate cancer will not spread or cause any problems or side effects for a long time, if ever, so your doctor may suggest active surveillance – where you watch the cancer closely instead of treating it.

Better News

If prostate cancer ever does become a problem – or if it metastasizes – you have the depth and breadth of the INTEGRIS Health and the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute behind you, with the region’s foremost collection of physicians, specialists and therapies, like one of only a handful of Proton Therapy centers in the country. We’re here for you every step of the way, from the first diagnosis and staging to treatment and even beyond – with rehabilitation designed specifically for cancer survivors.

The Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic

Prostate cancer treatment used to mean dozens of appointments at different facilities with multiple specialists, but with our Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic, the process is streamlined. We gather our physicians and specialists in one room to decide the best course of treatment for you. That means the time you have to spend between diagnosis and treatment is dramatically reduced. We know this can be a challenging time, so please ask your physician about any concerns or questions you might have.

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Understanding Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Urinating often (especially at night)
  • Difficulty urinating or holding back urine
  • Inability to urinate
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis because cancer has spread to the bones
  • Painful ejaculation

Whether to test healthy men with no symptoms for prostate cancer is controversial. In addition to regular physical examinations that may include blood, urine, and possibly other laboratory tests, many groups, such as the American Cancer Society, suggest talking to your doctor to learn more about the pros and cons of screening for prostate cancer to help you decide if it is right for you. Prostate screening and diagnosis tests might include:

  • DRE (Digital Rectal Examination): The doctor places a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the rectum and feel the prostate gland.
  • PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test: A blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm and analyzed for PSA. It's normal for a small amount of PSA to be in your bloodstream, but a higher than normal level may be an indication of prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.
  • Ultrasound: If other tests raise concerns, your doctor may use transrectal ultrasound to further evaluate your prostate. A small probe, about the size and shape of a cigar, is inserted into your rectum. The probe uses sound waves to make a picture of your prostate gland.
  • Prostate Biopsy: A biopsy is the removal of small pieces of tissue to test. The small pieces of tissue are looked at with a microscope. A biopsy is used to confirm a diagnosis of cancer. A core needle biopsy is the most common way to look for prostate cancer.

Your prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread and your overall health, as well as the benefits and the potential side effects of the treatment. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Active Surveillance: Not every man with prostate cancer needs to be treated right away. In many cases, early-stage prostate cancer will not spread or cause any problems or side effects for a long time, if ever. This is the decision to not treat prostate cancer right away, but instead to watch it closely.
  • Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy is treatment to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of hormones may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly.
  • External Radiation Therapy: During external beam radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around your body, directing high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to your prostate cancer.
  • Internal Radiation Therapy: Brachytherapy involves placing many rice-sized radioactive seeds in your prostate tissue. The radioactive seeds deliver a low dose of radiation over a long period of time. Your doctor implants the radioactive seeds in your prostate using a needle guided by ultrasound images.
  • Radical Prostatectomy: Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses anticancer medicines to kill cancer cells. The medicines are made to attack and kill cancer cells that grow quickly.
  • Herbal Supplements: Herbal supplements are pills, powders, teas, and other products that use herbs as the main ingredient to promote health. They are a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
  • Clinical Trials: A clinical trial is a research study that’s done to test a new type of prevention or treatment. A clinical trial may test a medicine, a procedure, or a device to see if it works and is safe.

At INTEGRIS, we offer a wide variety of support programs and services along with the Troy and Dollie Smith Wellness Center to help patients with breast cancer and their loved ones manage the physical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Support services for prostate cancer include:

  • Integrative Medicine Clinic
  • Mind, body therapies including acupuncture, massage, and yoga
  • Research and clinical trials
  • Nutrition consultations
  • Pastoral care, spiritual support and relaxation techniques
  • Resource Room
  • Clinical social work services
  • Counseling
  • Patient navigation and survivor care planning
  • Multi-disciplinary clinic coordination
  • Cancer screenings
  • Patient and family support groups

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